Aiming to improve interactions between first responders & those on the autism spectrum

After hearing so many negative stories about interactions between first responders and individuals on the spectrum, Elevate set out to help bridge the gap in communication and awareness. Board member Tarra Main came up with the idea of “HERO Bags“. These bags contain fidget tools, custom communication boards, headphones, and white boards to assist individuals with sensory and communication needs or who may become non-verbal during emergency situations. Elevate teamed up with the UNM’s Center for Development & Disability’s Autism+ team to create a training video for 1st responders to educate them on the need for and proper use of the tools.

Elevate is continuing its mission of supplying HERO bags to first responders around New Mexico. Currently, almost 200 bags have been donated to the City of Rio Rancho and 30 bags were sent to the Santa Fe Public School Guards during a training with the UNM CDD Autism+ Team. We recently donated over 100 bags to Bernalillo County Sheriffs and 150 bags will be on their way to Bernalillo County Fire & Rescue units!

We are extremely proud to continue working to expand the program around the state with the goal of every rescue unit having the tools and training needed to best serve NM’s Autistic Community.

If you would like to donate items for bags or make a monetary donation, please contact us at HeroBags@ElevateTheSpectrum.org

Bag Assembly

Thank You Garza McDonald’s and Duke City Gladiators!! March 2023